Practice Observations: August 4th

Got to an afternoon practice yesterday. Players were in shorts and shells, and it was a non-tackling drill to give the players a break after a few physical outings. Some cloud cover helped mask a windless, humid day. The Alberici wind generator on 170 stood eerily still on the way out to Earth City.

When I arrived, the team was working on special teams drills. Avery and Darby were the notable returners, with Darby looking particularly good. All the “gunners” were wearing red smurf caps on top of their helmets.

Setting up the wedge.

Setting up the wedge.

Meanwhile, the first team defensive line was working on techniques, as illustrated by 3k at TST in his latest Playbook Projector. I found it funny that they literally use circles on the field to line up against, matching up to the typical football play diagram.

Bulger continues to look good in first team offensive drills, finding receivers all over the field rather than keying in on one or two guys. They worked on a number of screens, and did a nice job of setting up blockers. He had one particularly good pass to Derek Stanley (I believe), who was isolated down the sideline. The corner (Jonathan Wade, I believe) had good position to the inside, right on his heels, so Bulger dropped the ball two yards to the receiver’s outside shoulder. Stanley looked back, found the ball and made the adjustment, catching the ball hip high. I haven’t been a fan of Stanley, but he did a great job bringing that one in.

On the second team, though, Boller displayed a really strong arm, zipping the balls out to receivers. Billy Bajema, tagged with the “blocking tight end” label, showed great hands on a diving play, generating applause and Oohs from the crowd. As Boller continued to throw strikes to receivers out in space, the guy next to me made a comment about how Bulger was going to have to look out. Two plays later, he gets picked off by Witherspoon on a short dump off over the middle.

My prize-winning photo of the day (haha, right) happened as I was keying on Sean Walker’s side of the field. I caught a great defensive play by Bradley Fletcher, knocking the ball out of Walker’s hands in an aerial battle. This was no jump ball, it was gunned out to the sideline by Keith Null.

It was a short practice, with no red zone drills. Hope I get to see some of those next time out. Players seemed to show a lot of energy, especially on offense — undoubtedly since they knew they weren’t going to get hit!